Sunday, 31 May 2009

Dia del Deportes

Well that was a lot of fun!

Yesterday we begged, bullied, cajoled and persuaded 20 of our Madrid-based friends to join us in our local park for an English Sports Day and Picnic. What with the gorgeous weather which is practically a permanent fixture here in Spain and the proximity of the shady, flat spaces of Parque Tierno Galvan, it seemed a crime not to! Egg and Spoon races, Rounders, Cricket and Three-legged races were all scheduled in, as we began to assemble from 1pm, with people coming and going all day and a hard-core dozen lasting a good 8 hours until a sudden thunderstorm sent us bolting for cover, hasty goodbyes said as our guests ran for the Metro.

Turn out was much better than expected, with a strong representation from our Pueblo Ingles friends and the writing group, and there was way too much food! As we have discovered many, many times during our 14 blissful months of marriage, when you ask people to bring something to share they make enough for about five people!! Maria-Jose's veggie croquetas, Jero's home-baked bread and Vanessa'a tortilla were among our favourites. In fact the, only thing we were short of was enough to drink, especially in the 30 degree heat, so several expeditions to the local supermercado were organised.

The egg and spoon races - 4 heats followed by semi-finals and then a grand final - caused much hilarity and some outrageous cheating, and were eventually won by the athlete from Senegal, Aboubacar, after the local challenger Javier and the early favourite Owain both suffered disastrous egg-breaks mid-race. (The GB representatives Kathleen and Richie took silver and bronze). However, in an outstanding display of Anglo-German cooperation Owain eventually grabbed a gold in the three-legged race when he and Nico narrowly triumphed over Kate and Maria-Jose's stylish team.

Rounders, played under a shady canopy with trees for bases and a rolling-pin as a bat, was popular with Max's tight pitching keeping some of the big-hitters in check and the first game finishing in a 8-8 tie. Cricket was less successful, though Sylmara - a Puerto Rican we'd met the weekend before - turned out to be a demon-bowler in her first ever attempt at playing. Naturally Kate got the guitar out as well - her Dirty Bitch Tango being requested by her loyal Pueblo Ingles fans - and Owain joined her for a duet on a song they'd written together. Then Javier wowed us all with some amazing magic tricks and sleights of hand, roping me into helping him with a trick he'd only explained to me once before; I just managed to get it right!

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